Online fashion retailer boohoo has been working with Burnley businesses to breathe new life into the borough’s older buildings.
It has hired several local businesses to work on some of the old industrial units on Widow Hill Road, where it is based on the Heasandford Industrial Estate.
Speaking to Burnley.co.uk, Paul Corrigan, Head of Logistics for boohoo, said: “Boohoo is a major UK success story, having been founded in 2006 and growing into the business it is today. We needed to expand and relocate our global distribution centre and Burnley was the perfect location for that.
“There were plenty of reasons why we chose Burnley. The Heasandford Industrial Estate, where we are based, had plenty of potential for expansion. Ease of distribution is key and the borough sits in the heart of the UK, whilst it also provides a skilled and varied workforce.”
And boohoo has already had to expand again since arriving in Burnley due to its impressive growth. A key part of this growth has been investing into transforming some of the older buildings on Widow Hill Road, where its distribution centre is based.
Just some of the extensive works over the years include more recently:
Chambers A to F
- Multi-million-pound investment in two phases of automation installed;
- New signage around site;
- Grounds maintenance improved.
- Top warehouse refurbishment to allow faster distribution;
- Lower warehouse and offices about to begin refurbishment;
- New fence line installed on Eastern Avenue and along ENW Sub Station
- New signage.
- New fence line installed at rear of the building;
- Extensive roof repairs completed;
- New pedestrian turnstiles installed.
Boohoo also owns the former TRW and Multiweld buildings, but these are currently empty until long-term solutions have been agreed.
Using Burnley businesses where possible
From the outset of boohoo’s expansion, it has championed the use of local suppliers where possible. The list is too long to mention here, but some of the businesses it has used include LPK Facilities Management, Barnfield Construction, Quest Electrical, Scott Dawson Advertising, Yesss Electrical and Simply Classic.
Paul explained: “Our purchasing decisions are made with a ‘local first’ outlook. At peak times, we have 2,500 staff on site, so catering was a very important tendering decision. We chose the local supplier Simply Classic, who themselves use local suppliers, keeping the local economy strong for our workforce. They were able to respond to initiatives we required, such as providing free packed lunches to our employees on site throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also invest in and develop our workforce. We have a successful leadership training programme to develop staff potential. We employ and train apprentices through Burnley College, notably in our engineering department. This gives our workforce longevity and talent for the future.”
Many head office functions are located in our borough, bringing higher paid and skilled jobs to Burnley.
Liam Kilbride, Management Director LPK Facilities said: “I’m really proud that LPK are involved in bringing these buildings back to life. There’s really been a concerted effort by boohoo to use local contractors where possible, many of whom have grown alongside boohoo’s expansion. The contribution to the local economy is fantastic and really is something that should be celebrated.”
Being our borough’s largest employer, it is certainly positive to see how boohoo is passionate about the local workforce and economy. They told Burnley.co.uk that every employee paid hourly earns “significantly” above the National Living Wage and unless an employee specifically requests one, there are no zero-hours contracts in place.
The site also boasts a gym and subsidised canteen. We must admit, we always get a little bit jealous when we see the amazing food treats available at the Burnley site on boohoo’s social media!
We look forward to seeing the work progress on Widow Hill Road and what expansion plans boohoo has up its sleeve next!